Today: Jun 03 , 2020

A Trip to The World Trade Center Memorial

11 September 2017  
The area where one of the two World Trade Center buildings stood, now a memorial fountain. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

The World Trade Center Memorial and One World Trade Center Provide Remembrance and Look Forward

I recently boarded a plane to New York City, the first time I had ever visited the Big Apple. There were many things on my page-long list of things to visit from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to Broadway.

A very important item on the list was visiting the World Trade Center Memorial and the new One World Trade Center.

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I had just been eight-years-old for two days when the attacks happened. I don’t have many memories of that day other than remembering getting ready and attending school with my second-grade teacher having a discussion about the tragedy.

The full extent of the attack and loss of life wouldn’t be fully realized until I was older.

One thing I did remember was the heartbreak for my mom, who had worked in the World Trade Center in the late 1980s. While it had been over twenty years since my mom worked in the World Trade Center, there was almost certainly somebody she interacted with during her time there who was affected by the disaster on that warm Tuesday morning.

When she last left New York, the twin towers stood tall above New York’s crowded skyline. Now traveling on a bus to New York City from New Jersey in 2017, we came upon the site of a new tower.

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We talked about many things on the subway ride over from the train she used to take under the towers to the places she went at lunch.

We were both quiet upon arrival, walking the steps my mom used to stroll on a daily basis. What used to be tall buildings were now square fountains measuring the size of the old towers, the true size of which can’t be realized until visiting the site.

It was a different experience, the hustle and bustle of New York seemed to pause as individuals stood around the fountains.

Carved into the two memorials are names of people who lost their lives in the attack as many left flags inside the letters. My mom didn’t find the name of anybody she knew but it would take hours to read through every name.

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We ended the visit with something she did whenever friends or family visited, taking a trip up the elevator to the top; of course, now it costs $70.

One World Trade Center serves as the former used to, be a guide in the sky of New York City. One who visits the top can see everything and even use an iPad to find out more about locations throughout the area.

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I had a basic understanding of the destruction but visiting the site and going up to the top of the new One World Trade Center gave me a new look at the disaster.

My mom, meanwhile, had a chance to visit somewhere she spent many hours while living in New York but an area that had changed completely.

It took years but the completion of the Memorial and new One World Trade Center serves as a place to remember those lost in the past while looking toward the future. 

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